Yet another milestone

THE multi billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has added a new dimension and vigour to the already robust and friendly relations between Pakistan and China. Since the launch of mega corridor project, both the countries are expanding their relations in various fields including the Information and Communications Technology (ICT). A few days back Pakistan launched two indigenously built satellites from China while both the countries achieved another milestone in the digital field when they inaugurated the first ever land based cross border optical fibre project on Friday. The cable connects Rawalpindi with Khunjerab on the Pakistan-China border at an altitude of 4,700 meters, thus becoming the world’s highest fibre cable project.
Indeed with deepening strategic cooperation comes the need to establish fast, reliable connectivity and perhaps most critically the communication that is safe and not routed through India and the United States. The new network will be beneficial to Pakistan by improving Internet penetration and increasing speed especially in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistsan regions where Internet connectivity has ranged from poor to non-existent. Definitely it will also reduce the cost of Internet connections in the country. Additionally, linking with the rest of the world through China will also help reduce Pakistan’s dependence on undersea cables that carry the country’s Internet traffic. In cases where the undersea cables develop a fault as has occurred in the past, the county now has another route in place to avoid any disruption in Internet traffic.
As also pointed out by Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk while inaugurating the project, it will trigger a revolution in the telecom and ICT industry along the CPEC route especially in Pakistan and promote tourism and create trading opportunities for northern areas of the country. Speaking more broadly, this new network would also provide landlocked central Asian states a new, shorter and more cost-effective route for connectivity. So the infrastructure developed under the CPEC is all set to make Pakistan a hub of regional trade. Indeed we are living in a digital age and by focusing on it, Pakistan can not only create hundreds of thousands of jobs for its youth but also make its mark felt on the world map. We are confident that China and Pakistan will continue to move forward with the same spirit and work hand in hand to attain more milestones not only in the fields of information, communications but in many others avenues. And that in the words of Chinese President Xi Jinping is to achieve the dream of shared prosperity.

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